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Next term the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Evenwel v Abbott, 14-940. The Texas voters who filed the case argue that states must draw U.S. House and legislative districts based on the number of eligible voters, not population. Here is the opening brief filed by those voters. The “summary of argument” starts on page 14.
The core argument these voters make is that the Constitution requires states to treat all voters equally. In some districts in Texas, the number of eligible voters is far larger than in other districts. This is not only because some, but not all, parts of Texas have large numbers of alien residents. It is also because some parts of Texas have a higher density of children than other parts of Texas.
The other side’s brief is due September 18. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.
August 3 Joint Forum for 14 Republican Presidential Candidates to be Televised Live on Many TV Stations (August 1, 2015, 01:47 PM)
Several newspapers in various states are sponsoring a joint forum for Republican presidential candidates on Monday evening, August 3. The newspapers invited all 17 Republicans who seem to have a genuine campaign, based on how many campaign events they have set up, and whether they have campaign offices and staff. Three of the 17 declined to participate. See this story. The candidates will not appear simultaneously; instead each one will be on the stage alone. If the event had included the candidates speaking to each other, that would have violated Republican National Committee rules, which won’t allow unsanctioned debates. The event starts at 7 p.m eastern time. Also see this story, which has a link, by which anyone may suggest topics for the moderator to raise.
Prohibition Party Nominates National Ticket (July 31, 2015, 11:51 PM)
On July 31, the Prohibition Party nominated Jim Hedges for President and Bill Bayes for Vice-President. The nomination was made with a two-hour conference call. Hedges lives in Big Tannery Cove, Pennsylvania; Bayes in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Hedges has been the party’s newsletter editor and publisher for many years.
Mayor of Kingston, New York, May Depend on Green Party to Get on November 3, 2015 Ballot (July 31, 2015, 08:40 PM)
Mayor Shayne Gallo of Kingston, New York, is running for re-election in a partisan election on November 3, 2015. He is a Democrat, but he has a powerful opponent in the Democratic primary in September. In case he loses the Democratic primary, he hoped to be nominated by either or both the Independence Party and the Conservative Party. He did not file to run in the Working Families Party primary.
Due to a judicial decision saying his acceptance form was a day too late for the Independence and Conservative process, he can’t expect to get their nomination. Although he could run as a write-in, it is unlikely he could win because his Republican opponent is on the ballot in the primaries of those two parties.
But, as this story explains, Mayor Gallo might get the Green Party nomination on write-in votes in the Green primary. That would not be very difficult because no one has qualified to be on the Green Party primary ballot for Mayor.
Governor John Kasich Responds to a Question About More Inclusive General Election Presidential Debates (July 31, 2015, 07:24 PM)
On July 31, Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke in Keene, New Hampshire. He was asked whether he feels general election presidential debates should include more than two candidates. He responded, “I don’t know; I haven’t thought about it.” Then he asked the questioner who the third candidate might be. The reporter who asked the question mentioned the Libertarian and Green Parties.
Kasich then started to make a reference to the 2014 gubernatorial election in Ohio, where three candidates were on the ballot, Kasich, the Democratic nominee, and the Green Party nominee. He started to say that he had some discussions about whether to include the Green, but trailed off, and said, “I don’t know. I’ll see how serious they are.” Actually, the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Ohio in 2014 was willing to include the Green Party nominee, and it was Governor Kasich who refused to include her.
Ohio Secretary of State Rules in Favor of Two Independent Candidates in 2015 Local Elections (July 31, 2015, 05:58 PM)
On July 31, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled in favor of two independent candidates seeking a place on the 2015 general election in two cities. See this story. Ohio law is very vague about who can qualify to be an independent candidate. Ohio doesn’t ask about party choice (or independent status) on voter registration forms, yet the law says no one may be an independent candidate who is “affiliated” with a party. This standard forces election administrators and state courts to look into the personal characteristics of candidates, to measure their intent. No other state has this type of ambiguity.
Independent Candidate for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge Files 28,000 Signatures (July 31, 2015, 05:39 PM)
On July 31, Paul Panepinto, independent candidate for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, filed approximately 28,000 signatures to be on the November 3, 2015 ballot. He is the first petitioning candidate for that office since 1993. The requirement is slightly more than 16,000 signatures. The requirement would be higher, except the 1993 petitioning candidate, Robert Surrick, won a lawsuit in 1993 to lower the number of signatures for statewide judicial candidates who petition in odd years.
Given the victory against the Pennsylvania system for checking signatures on July 24, it will be interesting to see if anyone challenges Panepinto’s petition. The victory in court on July 24, 2015, only applies to Constitution, Green, and Libertarian petitions.
Independent Voters Network Carries Article Advocating Change to California Top-Two System (July 31, 2015, 10:44 AM)
The Independent Voters Network, which was created by proponents of the top-two system, has this article by me on how the California top-two system injures voter choice in November, and how it could be altered to restore voter choice in November without reducing voter choice in the primary.
Kentucky Likely to Have Three Candidates on November 2015 Ballot for Governor (July 31, 2015, 10:19 AM)
This news story says Drew Curtis, an independent running for Governor of Kentucky in the November 3, 2015 election, already has 6,000 signatures. The deadline is August 11. He needs 5,000 and says he expects to have at least 8,500 by the deadline.
Another independent candidate, who changed his name to Gatewood Galbraith, only as 2,000 signatures so far.
The only ballot-qualified parties in Kentucky are the Democratic and Republican Parties. The only other ballot-qualified parties Kentucky has had in the last 90 years have been the American Party 1968-1972, the Anderson Coalition Party 1980-1984, and the Reform Party 1996-2000. Kentucky is the only state in which the only office that counts toward party status is President. The law requires 2%, which sounds easy but is not, because it is so rare for any party other than the Democratic and Republican Parties to poll 2% for President.
Law Professor Vikram Amar writes here that the June 29 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona State Legislature v Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission can help proponents of the National Popular Vote Plan. The decision helps that movement because now the state initiative process can be used to expand the list of states that have passed the plan.
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